Star Trek crossovers have been happening for decades, ranging from when Original Series characters like Spock and Scotty appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation to when William Riker and Deanna Troi showed up in Star Trek: Enterprise’s series finale. Well, buckle in, folks, because next year the Paramount+ shows Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and Star Trek: Lower Decks will come together, and this could go down as the wildest Star Trek crossover ever. Yes, that’s even in comparison to Deep Space Nine’s “Trials and Tribble-ations.”
It was announced at Star Trek’s San Diego Comic-Con panel in Hall H that this special crossover episode will air in 2023 as part of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2, a season that was already promising us more of Paul Wesley’s James T. Kirk following his surprise appearance in the Season 1 finale. Featuring a mix of live-action and animation, this episode will see Tawny Newsome and Jack Quaid respective reprising their Star Trek: Lower Decks characters Ensign Beckett Mariner and Ensign Brad Boimler. The two Starfleet officers will find themselves joining the Christopher Pike-captained U.S.S. Enterprise, and the episode will be directed by Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Jonathan Frakes, who has no shortage of experience working behind the cameras in the Star Trek franchise.
Ok, let’s take a beat here and make sure we all completely understand what’s going on here. Beckett Mariner and Brad Boimler from Star Trek: Lower Decks, a comedic animated series, will somehow find themselves interacting with the characters of the critically-acclaimed Strange New Worlds. First off, how is this going to work with live-action/animation blend? Well, no, Mariner and Boimler will not be bizarrely animated while they’re chatting with Anson Mount’s Pike, Ethan Peck’s Spock and Rebecca Romijn's Una Chin Riley. Instead, Tawny Newsome and Jack Quaid physically play their characters when they’re brought into the Strange New Worlds time period. That's a good call, not just because it’s less visually jarring, but also because Newsome and Quaid nicely cosplayed Mariner and Boimler at Star Trek: Mission Chicago earlier this year.
Second, how will two characters from Star Trek: Lower Decks, which takes place in the late 24th century, will end up in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, which takes place over 100 years beforehand? Time travel is the most logical explanation, with Mariner Beckett and Brad Boimler somehow being transported to roughly seven years before the events of Star Trek: The Original Series, and then being taken back to their home time period by the time the crossover episode is finished. However, perhaps a page is being taken from Star Trek: Enterprise’s book; maybe, just like what happened with Riker and Troi in “These Are The Voyages…,” Mariner and Boimler are in a hologram program, meaning we’ll see them interacting with recreations of the Enterprise crew, not the real deals.
Finally, there’s the question of how the differing tones of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and Star Trek: Lower Decks will stack up against one another. Because again, Lower Decks is an animated comedy packed with hijinks, while Strange New Worlds is a dramatic show, though not without lighthearted moments. Overall, this is not the crossover I was expecting to see between Star Trek TV shows in the Paramount+ era, but I can’t wait to see how this ambitious story turns out.
Until then, Paramount+ subscribers can now stream the entirety of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 1, and Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 3 will premiere on August 25. Look through our 2022 TV schedule to learn what other programming is coming up later this year.
Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.
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